Mapping, topographic

Peter Collier

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


    Topographic maps are designed to show both the physical features of the landscape and the man-made features, such as settlements and communications, at a level appropriate for the scale of the map. They are general-purpose maps, designed to meet the needs of a wide range of users; they also serve as base maps for thematic maps, such as geological maps. The generally accepted scale range for topographic mapping is between 1:5000 and 1:250 000. Topographic maps have evolved over about 250 years, from the first one produced in France in the eighteenth century. All European national surveys started as military surveys and this has heavily influenced the evolutionary process. It influenced both the choice of features to be shown, and the look of the map, the ways in which features are shown. Important features of modern maps, such as the reference grid, were originally introduced to meet military requirements. The introduction of color printing in the late nineteenth century permitted depiction of a greater range of features without any loss of clarity
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Human Geography
    EditorsN. Thrift, R. Kitchin
    Place of PublicationLondon
    Number of pages12
    ISBN (Print)9780080449104
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


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